We saw many great upsets in this year’s women’s US Open so far. In fact, this is the first Grand Slam tournament since the Australian Open in 1979, where just 1 top10 player makes it to the quarterfinal stage. The only top tenner that remains in the draw is the home favourite and world number 1 – Serena Williams.
Viktoria Azarenka will meet Ekaterina Makarova in an interesting quarterfinal match-up from the top half. The Belarusian ex-number 1 is coming back from an injury, which made her drop in the rankings, where she is currently 17th. She has made the finals here in New York in the last 2 editions, so an early exit this year would mean that she would be out of the top20. Vika has a tough first round against Misaki Doi, which she won 6-7 6-4 6-1. This was followed by two easier straight set wins against McHale and Vesnina. In the 4th round Azarenka faced one of the biggest surprises of the tournament – the qualifier Aleksandra Krunic. Victoria recovered well after a first set loss and won the match in 3 sets.
Ekaterina Makarova is doing very well this year here in New York. She is in the doubles semifinals with her partner Vesnina, after they beat the Williams sisters yesterday. She also hasn’t lost a set in singles, beating Min, Hercog, Diyas and Bouchard, all in straight sets. This way the Russian defended her quarterfinal points from last year. Ekaterina’s best result at slams this year is her quarterfinal at Wimbledon and she has a decent chance to improve this and go a step further here at Flushing Meadows.
Azarenka leads the head-to-head with 3 wins against 2 for Makarova, but the matches between them are often close. Even though the Russian has never been in a slam semifinal, she has plenty of experience in the latter stages of Grand Slams – a total of 5 quarterfinals. She has a very solid game and a tricky lefty serve that can certainly trouble Azarenka, who has not been very consistent in the tournament. I definitely see value in Makarova’s odds – 2.00 at and would reccommend backing her with moderate stakes.